Baseball wins, Schmitz wins 500th game

Sean Shapiro and Sean Shapiro

It had been 12 years since BG had gone into Ann Arbor and beaten the Michigan Wolverines, Tuesday’s 8-3 win won’t be soon forgotten as BG coach Danny Schmitz picked up his 500th career victory. ‘I really didn’t put a thought into it,’ Schmitz said. ‘To do it against a great program like Michigan, that’s a credit to our kids. It’s a team game and a team effort and all of our players, both present and former earned this.’ In his 19th year guiding the Falcons, Schmitz has become the 69th NCAA Division one coach to hit 500 wins and just the fifth in the history of the Mid-American Conference. The Falcons got early run support for starter Brian Hangbers, as they picked up three first inning runs on the strength of two RBI singles. Freshman Patrick Martin drove in the winning run four innings later with a solo homerun right center. ‘Offensively we’re executing, all three runs came with two outs in the top of the first,’ Schmitz said. ‘Then to add one in each of the late innings was important.’ Following a sixth inning, in which BG’s Mark Galvan scored on a fielding error, the Wolverines pulled within two during the bottom half of the seventh inning. A solo homerun by Michigan’s Mike Dufek cut the BG lead to four, two batters later Alan Oaks two run shot brought the Wolverines the closest they would get the whole game. Dusty Hawk came in with two outs in the Michigan seventh and didn’t allow a hit the rest of the way, picking his third save of the season. ‘That’s big, we moved Dusty back to the bullpen for this reason,’ Schmitz said. ‘Michigan had a little bit of momentum going for them, and he came in got his pitches over.’ BG would score again on a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning and added two more in the ninth thanks to errors by the Wolverines. Freshman Ross Gerdeman got the win for the Falcon as he allowed four hits and struck out six in 3.2 innings. It was Gerdeman’s first win in nine appearances this season, improving his record to 1-2. At the plate BG picked up eight hits, three of those by Logan Meisler who went 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Mark Galvan added two RBIs in three at bats while Martin’s fifth inning homerun was the second of his collegiate career. BG had a strong game fielding as well; they only committed one error while Michigan committed three. The Falcons improved to 12-12 (2-3 MAC) this season, while Michigan the 2008 Big Ten Champions dropped to 16-8 for the season. Following the win, BG will continue MAC play this Friday at Central Michigan, the first of a three game series.